Listen free for 30 days

The Collector

Narrated by: James Wilby
Length: 8 hrs and 55 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (165 ratings)

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

Withdrawn, uneducated, and unloved, Frederick collects butterflies and takes photographs. He is obsessed with a beautiful stranger, the art student Miranda.

When he wins the pools, he buys a remote Sussex house and calmly abducts Miranda, believing she will grow to love him in time. Alone and desperate, Miranda must struggle to overcome her own prejudices and contempt if she is understand her captor, and so gain her freedom.

©1963 John Fowles (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    83
  • 4 Stars
    53
  • 3 Stars
    24
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    3

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    100
  • 4 Stars
    32
  • 3 Stars
    13
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    72
  • 4 Stars
    44
  • 3 Stars
    24
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    2
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I listened in two days!

Absolutely fabulous. Loved the characterisation that made my skin crawl, and Fowles has the incredible talent of making one almost feel sorry for the protagonist's situation, before realising the extent of the delusion. An excellent psychological thriller that I've already listened to three times in two months!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Gruesome insight into dark side of human soul

This is horryffying portrait of a man falling into abyss, not finding strentgh to hold on to what is good in him but finding excuses at avery step of descending into darkness. It is not a pleasent listen, but it is powerful portrait of how one find himself unable to turn away from evil. Deeply moving book, forcing deep self reflection.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Perfect reading

Perfect . The reading was excellent to unwind the story. Loved it. Irritating having to carry on writing review on iPhone while walking in traffic. In order to write enough to send 5 stars

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A horrifying, realistic tale of obsession

Would you listen to The Collector again? Why?

No, I couldn't put myself through such an uncomfortable listen again, just because the writing is that spine chilling and believable! Let me be clear, this is a very well written book, and an extremely compelling story, but one of the characters is so repulsive, it is so hard to hear the tragic story from his warped perspective.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Miranda is very brave, resourceful yet flawed young woman. She is an accurate depiction of a desperate woman in her position.

What about James Wilby’s performance did you like?

His commitment and clear diction.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Beware of the quiet ones...

Any additional comments?

This story is not for the fainthearted but is worth persevering though to the harrowing and unpredictable end.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

wonderfully read and the story...heartbreaking .

perfectly read ,the story is so sad and gripping so plausible full of hope and despair a must read

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent version of an insidious tale.

Read the book and saw a film with Terence Stamp many many years ago, I remembered the story vividly. ( it is that affecting!) This version has the same effect, it is stunningly well read by James Wilbey. I highly recommend it but be aware, the story will stay with you.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Frustrating structure

A very frustrating novel - slow pace and annoying structure, especially halfway through. The editor should have been much more ruthless!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Disturbing

Absolutely incredible, tense and truthful story. Maybe the most unsettling novel I've read/listened too. I definitely want to check out more by this author.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Deeply creepy

A great performance by James Wilby, but be warned, this is deeply disturbing and sinister. I couldn’t finish it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

amazing

compelling and full of ideas. this book is great and preformed impeccably, a must listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Sharon
  • Sharon
  • 04-06-13

Masterful narration

It's a powerful story of obsession and delusion. The perpetrator seem to see himself as the victim. I suppose he was the victim of a delusional mind. Hats off to James Wilby for his wonderful narration.

12 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Rochelle
  • Rochelle
  • 18-08-14

Creepy!

The story starts out creepy & stays that way right until the end. John Fowles has done a brilliant job of creating these characters, particularly Frederick, who seems as though he ought to be as harmless as the butterflies he collects - but who is anything but.

"Gripping" would be a good adjective for this one. It is a remarkably well written story, my favourite so far of the Fowles books available on the Audible book store. It's compelling from beginning to end.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for moo
  • moo
  • 10-08-14

Fantastic first person book, amazing narration

Any additional comments?

The Collector is one of the best first person books I've listened to. The narration is fantastic. The main character is painted with such clairty, creepy, chilling, fantastic book.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for LannaQ
  • LannaQ
  • 13-06-16

Slightly Disappointed

This book is made up of the parts, first and last is through Ferdinand's perspective and the second is told by Miranda. I enjoyed the first section; however, having to listen to Miranda drone on and on and on was quite monotonous.

Regarding the narration. Again, I enjoyed Ferdinand's character, Miranda was a bit whiny...and when there were two male characters at once, I really couldn't keep up with who was speaking.

Overall, our was a just okay read for me.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Erica Smith
  • Erica Smith
  • 28-02-13

Perfect Performance

What did you love best about The Collector?

This is a masterpiece of a first novel.

What did you like best about this story?

Bizarre and powerful. A compelling portrait of intriguing self-delusion.

Which character – as performed by James Wilby – was your favorite?

Wilby slips into the role so effortlessly that one easily forgets that it isn't actually Ferdinand Clegg telling the story. Wilby should be nominated for an award.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Darwin8u
  • Darwin8u
  • 11-08-12

You DON'T tell a Disease its Name

I loved this novel of obsession, passion and control. While at the plot level it seems like (what now is a basic, but when it came out was revolutionary) psychological creep thriller (see Criminal Minds, Law & Order, Misery, etc.), this novel is much, much more. It is an exploration and a nuanced look at class struggles, art, power, religion, money, etc.). It is a novel that resonates on several levels. It reminded me of a some weird love-child of Vladimir Nabokov and Thomas Harris. But, perhaps that is just the whispers of all those moths and butterflies talking to me. The narrator bugged at times, but overall did a good job.

24 of 31 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for CW
  • CW
  • 08-11-18

Please don’t bother.

The performance was so challenging to listen to. Story grim with very little suspense. Story told in first person did take some getting used to. I suppose that was the only aspect which kept me engaged as long as it did.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for willow33
  • willow33
  • 28-03-18

Perhaps Better Read

Any additional comments?

I have no idea what Fowles's intentions were with this acclaimed book, but I only enjoyed listening to half of it - the bad guy's half. This may have been a reaction to the narrator's OTT reading of the victim. It had me rooting for the bad guy. Maybe that was Fowles intention. I don't know and what seemed to me as mostly a college dissertation certainly didn't make me care.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Brother John
  • Brother John
  • 04-03-19

One of the best ever

One of the best ever, period. Read this book, read this book, read this book

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Gregory J. Marshall
  • Gregory J. Marshall
  • 04-10-18

pre "serial killer" nomenclature

The writing was great, the tangents about the older artist friend slowed down the action considerably but nicely juxtaposed two types of predator. I was expecting much more scare, although the last chapter is authentically chilling.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful